If you work in sales or marketing, or are connected with me on LinkedIn, you will have heard the term “Sales Enablement” being thrown around a lot recently. So, I am here to clear up any confusion around the idea and answer the one question on your lips: what is sales enablement?
So, what is it?
Sales enablement is exactly what is says on the tin: undertaking certain activities to allow your sales team to spend more of their time selling effectively. The whole point of sales enablement is to increase your sales team’s productivity and therefore drive more revenue for your business. If you think about the average sales person’s day, very little of it ACTUALLY consists of “selling.” My days consist of arranging meetings, emailing prospects, sending out sales collateral, writing contracts, lead nurturing, explaining to prospects what it is we do… and so on and so forth.
“But, Katie, all of that IS still selling because those are the steps you have to take in order to close deals,” I hear you cry. And you’re right. But, these are all examples of things you can templatise or automate to save you time and allow you to focus on the important stuff: closing more deals.
Sales enablement = an investment
Sales enablement won’t happen overnight, it is an iterative approach to your sales and marketing. You’ll have to start by analysing your activity each day and identifying which tasks could be simplified to make your life easier. This first part will feel like a lot of hard work as you are putting things into place to reduce downtime in the future, but trust me, it’s worth investing time in your future self. Once you have come up with your sales enablement strategy, formalise the process by writing it up in a place that is accessible for your sales team and include it in your sales meetings.
Take some time each week to monitor the progress of your sales enablement strategy by looking at the effectiveness of each activity. For example, using a tool like HubSpot - which is free! - you can easily see which automated emails are being opened and engaged with. Now, I am not saying that a cookie-cutter approach works - you’ll still need to personalise everything, but you can do this in HubSpot by using personalisation tokens on your email templates and snippets.
Sales enablement examples
By now you should understand what sales enablement is and why it adds value to your sales team. So here are some actionable steps you can take to make sure your team are as “enabled” as possible:
Aligning your sales and marketing teams is a smart thing to do regardless, but in the context of sales enablement it’s important that sales are basing their approach around marketing efforts. Some ways of doing this are:
Having regular sales and marketing meetings - we do this weekly at Noisy Little Monkey and it will depend on the size/structure of your organisation
Write a content plan and create buyer personas so that your sales and marketing teams are aligned in their content creation
Using chatbots on your website to qualify any incoming leads is a great way to save your sales team some time. You can find out the lead’s name, email, budget, company name, and so on before you even speak to them. This is also beneficial for your prospect - the chatbot will be able to direct the site visitor to some useful resources on your website that will answer their questions. Win win!
I could name at least 12 emails that I send out “on the regs.” You know the ones I mean - “checking in,” “following up,” and “reaching out.” Using a marketing automation tool like, yep you guessed it, HubSpot, you can templatise these emails whilst still keeping them personal by using contact tokens. Even if you don’t use HubSpot or a similar tool, you can still write out the emails that you send out regularly and save them as a word document. At least that way you have the skeleton of the email and only have to make little edits every time.
There are many different forms of sales collateral and each type will be relevant based on where your lead is in their buying journey. If they are just hearing about your company, they’re more likely to need to learn about what it is that you actually do, so a product or service explainer video is great for this. If however, they’re a sales qualified lead or an opportunity, they might be interested to see a case study or a vendor comparison between you and your competitors. You can see me chatting more about this here.
Is it worth investing my time in sales enablement?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, yes. Because although it may take a while to implement your sales enablement strategy, productivity will increase dramatically and you’ll find yourself wondering why you weren’t doing it in the first place. Hit me up on LinkedIn for more tips on sales enablement.